October 17, 2015

Not What You Thought

I used to write stories all the time when I was younger, and it's something I've been meaning to start doing more often. We shall see if that resolution holds, for the time being... enjoy a little something I wrote one night as I was driving home from work. (In my head. Don't write and drive y'all.) 

Le complot des Ombres by Mon-artifice
h/t mon-artifice.deviantart.com

 I have a recurring nightmare. In it, it’s one month after the wedding.  You knock on the apartment door, and I let you in.  Your face is lit up in a huge grin that somehow doesn’t sit quite right. “Clarie!” You shout, grabbing me in a hug.  “Just wait until you see what I have to show you.”
    You take my hand and lead me back into the bedroom.  There is blood – so much blood.  Blood on the carpeting and up on the walls, covering the bed.  I can see that there are two bodies, but my gaze narrows until I can only see my own head and shoulders sprawling from behind the other side of the bed.  I back away, feeling sick and I bump into you. I turn, and your eyes are boring intently into mine.  You look so concerned, so desperate for my approval.  “See, Claire? See what I’ve done for you?”  Earnestly you beg me to understand.  “Now everything is alright.  No one can hurt you again.  You’ll be safer this way.”  
    That’s when I wake up.  I can still see your eyes, imploring me to listen. Hoping I’ll understand why killing me was the best thing you could do to keep me safe.
    I told you this dream, the first few times it happened.  You laughed, pointing out that you were right in one instance – you can’t get hurt when you are dead.  After the fifth time, I stopped telling you about it. Because by then, you had found out, and your laughter was more for show. I know why you want to keep me safe.  Why you’ve done what you’ve done.  And now you’re going to find out why you are the one who is bleeding on the floor, and not me.  Because the thing is, I’ve always been safe, even when it seemed like I was going to die.
    I knew the kind of man I was marrying.  I knew that he was going to beat me; that he would come home in a drunken rage and fire shots around the house, narrowly missing me more than once.  You yelled at me to leave and couldn’t understand why I stayed.  You tried to tell me what I already knew, about the murders, and the robbery and the crime.  Oh I knew all that before I even met him, before he even knew I existed.
    A lot happened in the eight years since I ran away from home.  You could have come with me, but you didn’t. I asked you to. At the time, you didn’t believe what I was going through.  I tried to tell you about the nights I lay hiding beneath my covers, scared to hear the sound of footsteps.  The words wouldn’t ever come out right and I couldn’t say what I wanted to, so I hinted the best as I could and you just couldn’t get it.  So I left, and then you found out the truth.  You feel guilty, I have seen it in your face every day since I came back, and I know that you were trying to protect me to make up for the time when you didn’t.
    When I came back into your life, spinning my story of how I’d found Jesus and set out to save the lost souls of the planet, you jumped at the chance to play the part you botched up.  I could hardly make a move without you checking on me, wanting so desperately to fill the holes in my life that I let you think I had. I can see the confusion on your face now, and I’m sorry to hurt you like this.  I do care for you still, in a way, but your little sister has grown up a lot since she was fifteen and there is so little that you know about me.  
    It’s only by chance that I let you back in my life at all, actually.  If you hadn’t happened to live in the same town as my going-to-be-husband, I wouldn’t have contacted you at all.  But it’s a small enough town that I couldn’t avoid you, and so I figured you would work out alright as an addition to my storyline. As it turns out, you worked with my husband and so it gave me an even better excuse to meet him, so I could fall in love and find a burning desire to save his soul from damnation. You didn’t know what he was like then, and it was only after I couldn’t hide the bruises that I could see a change happening behind your eyes. You saw the chance to redeem yourself for brushing me off when we were children, and you weren’t going to let me down again.
    And that’s how we got to here.  After one too many times of finding me unconscious on my floor, you decided that the only way to keep me safe was to kill me.  All through tonight, I’ve been wondering – where my dreams a warning of your plans? Or did you get the idea from my dreams?  Honestly, what sane person decides to keep the sister they love safe by slitting her throat?
    Don’t worry, you aren’t going to die.  But I would advise laying still until an ambulance comes for you.  Moving around might aggravate the bleeding and I can’t promise that you’ll make it if you lose more blood.  The cops will come and pick you up once they’ve got my husband in custody.  You nearly upset the plan you know. You’re lucky we thought this out well enough that they could operate without me being there, if it came down to it. Otherwise I might have been ticked enough that the gunshot wound in your chest ended up a few inches higher.
    Are you really that confused about what’s going on? I could cut you some slack, I suppose. You did just get beat up and shot by the woman you thought was your Bible toting little sister. Didn’t I say not to try and get up? I knew exactly what I was doing the whole time, although I do admit, you coming here tonight to try and kill me was something I didn’t see coming. I didn’t have a death wish, by refusing to leave a man we both knew is a murderer and a wife beater.  Look, here. I’ll show you.  See this badge? It says Claire Prayne, FBI.

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